Saturday, November 5, 2011

In The Weeds

2 of the more "interesting" stretches along Boreas
today. See, there is snow along the shoulders in
the weeds. Just enough snow to keep us going
until we got to the better condition up higher!
Oh Yes, We Did Ski This! - that was the motto of the day. Max, Zorro & I decided to test Boreas Pass Rd today for some skijoring fun.

The trailhead did have sufficient/packed snow to give us confidence to go. But, look at the pictures to the left - some of the "sun exposed" lower sections of Boreas were, well, sketchy at best. That won't stop our skijoring team, though, we saw snow in the weeds on the shoulders of the road. So, position the skis in the snow and on we go!

You can divide the path up Boreas Pass into 2 parts: (1) the trailhead to Bakers Tank; (2) Bakers Tank to Boreas Summit. The first section, to Bakers Tank, was on & off between acceptable conditions and "sketchy at best" conditions. But, we were determined to go, so Max, Zorro & I carefully navigated the sketchy patches and joyfully ran the acceptable patches. As we reached Bakers Tank, I knew there was no way we would be able to ski back down this section, so I made a "mental note" of this and onward we continued. The second section (Bakers Tank to the Summit) was very enjoyable - a few icy patches with some exposed rocks but mostly snowpacked terrain. We cruised up this section of Boreas at a nice uphill pace. Arriving at Boreas Summit, we called Nancy to ask her to drive to Bakers Tank to pick us up. Then, regroup and sprint downhill from the Summit to Bakers Tank.

Comical Event of the Day: You may have heard me mention before that one of Zorro's life principles is "none shall pass". Boreas Pass Rd is still open to cars this time of year (it closes to cars in late Nov for the rest of the snow season). Well, as we where skijoring up Boreas, a 4wd truck came up on us from behind. I guided Max & Zorro to the shoulder so the truck could pass. As soon as the truck passed by, Zorro exclaimed "NONE SHALL PASS" and dropped into sprint mode to chase the truck! Hilarious.

The Route: Start at the Boreas winter trailhead and then skijor up Boreas Pass Rd to Boreas Summit (6.7 miles); take a break; skijor back down Boreas Pass Rd from the Summit to Bakers Tank (3.7 miles).

Vital Stats: 10.4 miles (6.7 up/3.7 down); 125m total time, 110m moving time; 1300 feet of elevation gain; 19 mph top speed (and an impressive top uphill speed of 14 mph!)

Starting off from the Boreas winter trailhead. Note the conditions: packed snow
and somewhat icy - but still SNOW! See, we were not crazy to start off on this
route today - even though we had to "ski off the shoulder & in the weeds" to make
progress in some of the very sketchy patches not far from here.
Upper sections of Boreas Pass Rd (well past Bakers Tank). Nice packed conditions,
a Siberian Speedway!
Zorro reading the Continental Divide marker at the Summit of Boreas Pass.
Taking a break at the Boreas Pass Summit. Max choosing the left side of this ice
patch to "continue on". Zorro choosing the right side of this ice patch. The darned
human picked "turnaround and back down" as the path to continue - wimp, Max & Zorro
could have continued further for hours!

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